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Midwest detox consultation underway

Aug 15, 2023

Hope Community Services has begun a community consultation process on a dedicated alcohol and other drug detox facility for the Midwest region.

For anyone starting on an alcohol and other drug (AOD) recovery journey, withdrawal (or ‘detox’) is the first step. Only once this first step is complete can a person move to a rehabilitation facility, such as the Hope Springs Therapeutic Community.

In other WA regions there are low and high medical withdrawal services available to support a person through the difficult detox period.

In the Midwest however, there are no withdrawal services available at all. People who want to start their recovery process must either undertake the process themselves, with no formal support, or travel hundreds of kilometres to a low medical withdrawal facility.

Medical withdrawal services

A low medical withdrawal service provides supervised withdrawal, usually in residential setting or at home. The process usually takes around a week, but can take up to two weeks in some cases. The closest low medical withdrawal facilities to the Midwest are in Perth, Kalgoorlie and Roebourne.

High medical withdrawal is an inpatient service staffed 24/7 by specialist AOD doctors, nurses and allied health workers. There is only one service in WA, located in East Perth.

Travelling is often impractical and often deters people from taking that first important step to withdraw. For those that do choose to make the journey, they end up leaving all family, friends and community behind during what will be a very difficult time.

“We know there would be enough demand in the Midwest because we see the referrals that come through the system that make their way down to detox in the city,” says HOPE CEO Merinda March.

“But very often people don’t end up completing detox. It’s not easy to get on a train or drive down to Perth on your own.

“When a person is ready to detox, they need access to a detox facility right then and there, at the point they are motivated.”

Community consultation

HOPE is currently undertaking an extensive consultation with Midwest service providers and stakeholders, with the intention of developing a business case for the State Government, outlining the best options for a dedicated detox service for the Midwest region.

Such a service will not only enable people from the Midwest to confidently start their AOD recovery journey, but also will give them the best chance of success.

To date HOPE has met with representatives from local governments, AOD service providers, health professional, WA police and people with lived experience of AOD issues. Alongside these face-to-face discussions, HOPE has developed an online survey to collect more information.

The survey is open to all health professionals as well as those with lived experience of AOD dependency, including the families and loved ones of those who have experienced AOD dependency.


Hope Community Services also operates Hope Springs Therapeutic Community, a long-term, mixed gender therapeutic community and rehabilitation facility for those experiencing alcohol and other drug dependency.
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